tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC August 27, 2009 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT
that ted kennedy wanted it to be a place of debate on the issues important to the american people and a source of inspiration for future generations of public servants. the body, the casket will lie in repose this evening until 11:00. members of the public are invited to come by. tamron, your thoughts as we have been watching this. >> david, it's, i think, like anything the reality of what's happened is setting in when you, you know, saw the many people giving the applause and some crying, but many kind of celebrating, you felt a sense of peace, but then you see the family members walking in and their faces so sad. the reality that he is gone hits you, and this is just the beginning. we will see even more sad moments as we hear the eulogy from the president and the final good-byes at arlington national cemetery. i think the faces of the kennedy family and the flag over the
casket of an american icon the reality is starting to set in on what is happening. >> and, again, for people in the boston area who want to pay their respects, again, the body of senator kennedy is lying in repose until 11:00 tonight. the family says it will be lying in repose from 8:00 to 3:00 tomorrow. there will be a civilian and, of course, military honor guard, and then a celebration of life and memorial service and then funeral on saturday and burial here in washington at arlington national cemetery. >> and kennedy family member will remain with the body at all times. it's a tradition of this family. we continue to watch the developments and chris matthews is in new york with us. he takes over our extraordinary coverage of an extraordinary man. chris matthews, "hardball" continues the coverage of the memorial for senator edward kennedy. thank you, tamron and david. we're looking at an aerial shot of the john f. kennedy library and museum out there at columbia point. i've been there many times.
it's an astounding place to visit if you're at all interested in that period of the 1950s and '60s in american history. it's built right out over the water. it's a beautiful nautical place for someone like john f. kennedy to be memorialized and now tonight it's the place for the repose of the body of ted kennedy, the youngest kennedy brother. you're looking at the crowd there, the cortege has just arrived. we're going to be talking to people throughout this hour who were very close to ted kennedy and i couldn't think of anyone closer than the man right now senator christopher dodd of connecticut. thank you, senator, for joining us tonight. you know ted kennedy better than anybody i know, and you have been with him out in the water in tough seas, dangerous weather. what was it like to be ted kennedy? >> well, chris, first of all, i appreciate the tremendous effort in wrapping up this guy's life. awfully difficult to do, and historians will over the next
decades, of course, write about him and talk about him, his accomplishments, and to me he was a great friend, a personal friend over 30 years, and he was about as loyal a friend as you could ever have. the stories of legion just where you'd least expect it, at the moment you most needed it, that call would arrive, that note, that knock on the door, and he'd be there. and i know that those who have known him over the years, his own constituents in massachusetts, i can tell you i don't think my daughter, first born, grace, was an hour old before the call came from teddy welcoming grace into the world. when my sister died about a month ago, first call was from teddy. when i lost the iowa caucuses, not that anybody ever thought i was going to win it, the first call i got was from teddy and vicki. just every critical moment i can think of over the last 30 years, my friend was always, always there. so beyond all the accolades about his legislative prowess and ability, wonderful qualities, i don't minimize them
at all, for the rest of my life my memories will be about a great pal, a great friend. >> when you were with him in those quiet moments as social friends and having a good time or not, being sentimental maybe, did you ever get struck by the fact that i'm sitting with the brother of jack kennedy, i'm sitting with the brother of bobby kennedy, the son of joe kennedy? did that history ever come into your head or into the presence or was he always just your pal? >> i suppose maybe when i first met him a new senator, a congressman in the late '70s. i may have thought about him in those terms. but he would quickly dispel that. not that he ever made the point that he diminished the accomplishments of his family, but teddy had a wonderful ability to make you feel very much at home with him, and it was the great success of him in many ways, and i don't mine myself obviously the accomplishments of his two brothers who i didn't know at all. i met them as a child in the case of president kennedy and as a young teenager in the case of robert kennedy 40 years ago, but teddy's ability to connect with
people was very, very real, and it was whether you -- he could meet people that he had never known before and i'm sure initially there was some awe that they were in the presence of someone whose family had contributed so much, but he had the incredible ability literally within minutes almost of making you feel like you were important. what did you have to say? what was your contribution? what do you think about this? and he drew people out in wonderful ways. i saw him do it with my children. i just remember seeing maybe about -- i guess it may have been about maybe last march, april. i'm walking down going out with my then just 7-year-old and newly 4-year-old, christina, and teddy happened to be coming out with splash and sunny, his two dogs, and teddy made more of my girls because he knows that grace has severe allergies to dogs and other things, and he said let's try out sunny and splash with your daughter. and my two daughters to this die, i had to be very careful in talking about what happened to teddy in the last two days, last
day and a half because of what he meant to two very little children in making them feel very, very important. and with everybody i ever met around him, you might step back every now and then and realize this guy has seen more history and lived it, and yet that wonderful, remarkable ability, as you know chris. it was a great touch. not a phony bone in his body. it was really in many ways the reason why he was successful. i know people will talk about his knowledge of the senate and his ability to know parliamentary procedure. at the end of the day do you know what it was? people liked him. >> yeah. >> they liked him. >> senator, how did he deal with the weight of being a lightning rod for the right, not just the black irish begrudgers out there, but people on the right who didn't have any idea who he was except he was the enemy. how did he deal with that burden? >> i think he found it almost amusing in many ways because -- in fact, his republican colleagues in many cases would
come back and tease about it. they would go back home years ago and they'd talk about the evils of washington and they'd personify it. and then they'd tell him what a great guy he was and by the way could he help out on their bills, and he had someone that needed a job and could teddy -- it was this dichotomy he found interesting in many ways. that some of the people who would use him as a caricature for all they thought was evil within the country politically, they would turn around and be almost ashamed and embarrassed they had done so. so i think he handled it well. he understood in politics this happens, but he never -- at least he never showed. he may have and he certainly never indicated to me that it affected him in a way that he felt somehow that he was being abused by the political right, although certainly he must have felt that from time to time with some of the scurrilous things that were said about him. >> you know, senatoring back in the early '70s when i got back from the peace corps, i would go to hearings and watch him preside -- he wasn't the presiding chair yet, but he was in the committee behind the desk
up there, and i used to watch him watch everybody come in the room and maybe i was just picking up on something i was imagining, but i always sensed he was aware that he had to look out for his own security. >> well, probably so. i mean, you know, the sense obviously, chris, that, you know, it was 1963 with his brother, '68 with his other brother. that sense of that is certainly, i think, may have been on his mind, but again on a personal level having spent countless hours with hip in various places with people, i never saw any of that evidenced by any dramatic change in his persona. i suspect more than anything else it goes back to what i said a minute ago. this was a guy who genuinely -- you and i know people in politics and we wonder why they're in the business at all because they just don't seem to enjoy people. >> i know. they don't like the life or relish the do he mand. >> they like the job, like the title, maybe the legislative work but they really don't like their constituents that much.
teddy thoroughly enjoyed people, and so coming into that room and probably didn't have any idea you were a former peace corps volunteer or whatever else, but i suspect it was nothing else of human interest of a young guy walking into the room and thinking i wonder what this guy has on his mind. >> i meant in terms of looking at the crowd out there. i'm always amazed by somebody like this, as big a fellow as he is historically, caring what other people thought about him. this is a small point he said about me. he said i don't think he liked me when he was back with carter, but i think he likes me now. the fact he gave me a second thought is amazing to me. but he's a human being, i guess, and everybody cares what everybody thinks. it must have been such a treat to be his best friend. >> just great. i can't -- the other day i literally -- yesterday morning i got obviously very early the news, as everyone did, and i dropped off my 7-year-old at a
day camp in connecticut and then took my 4-year-old out to pick raspberries and blueberries and i decided i wasn't going to let the day become maudlin and i was going do what i think he'd appreciate, and that is live your life. he would say to me, i had a rough year, just went through cancer surgery two weeks ago, and, you know, he called me as i was coming out of the recovery room, chris. the first call i had, jackie put the phone up to my ear and said welcome to the club, you know. this is two weeks ago. so just a great friend and i'm just going to miss him terribly, beyond words. >> and he was at peace with god, too, right? >> just the best. he cared about you. you'll hear more stories in the weeks to come about him. just things, calls will be made, the times he'd shows up. jo joe biden talks about it when he was going through his physical tragedies with his an nur rism.
frank church was dying and teddy would show up in the hospital room just to be there with his family. no one asked, no one called, no press, no one was going to write a story about it. just a human being understanding what a family was going through, and he was as reliable as any human being i have ever known on that level. >> he called me on my diabetes and he was great. my favorite story is one that joe biden told months ago about how when he first got the tragedy that occurred when he came into office with his wife being killed, that very christmas week and the daughter being killed, just horrendous -- and being holed up on the sixth floor of dirkson where nobody even knew there were any offices up there, and teddy came by and took him to the gym and introduced him to all the old comi codgers at the gym. it's a rich world you're in there. senator chris dodd, good luck
sir with your own health and coming back yourself to being a great senator. thank you so much for coming on on this sad night for the country. >> thanks. >> chris dodd. >> thank you very much. nbc's anne thompson is at the kennedy library in boston. anne, thank you. it seems to me the ritual is following is a bit behind schedule. the past president of bc is up there to preside, right? >> he is and he's joined by father donald mcmillan. both priests have been very close to the kennedy family through the years. they are at this hour saying a prayer inside the kennedy library. when the senator's body was brought into the library, he went through a column of about 100 current and former staffers, chris, and, you know, in recent days talking to some of those staffers and people who know the senator, they said if you were on kennedy's staff, you really
never left. it was -- these weren't people who just worked for ted kennedy, but they loved ted kennedy, and they have come here to pay their respects today, and some of them will be sitting vigil. there's going to be a military guard over four members of the armed services and then four civilians who will stand vigil as the public comes through tonight, and many of those civilians will be former staffers who have come to pay their respects. joining them, of course, are the many people of massachusetts who want to say thank you to senator kennedy and thank you to his family, and they have lined up here at the jfk library, and it really is an astonishing sight. there are probably within my eyesight 200 people waiting to go in and then there is a line that goes all the way down the parking lot and then turns, and that's what it was doing an hour ago, and so i haven't been able
to go down and check it out since, but these are people who have been standing here for now two hours in a very hot sun. there are plenty of ambulances here. there are plenty of people with water bottles to make sure everybody stays hydrated as they wait for the library to open. there is going to be viewing until we believe 11:00 tonight, although it's interesting in the vigil schedule they put out they listed people who would be there for the vigil from 11:00 to 12:00 so anyone who is in line they can go through and pay their respects tonight. i don't think they will leave anyone out in the cold. and they will be greeted, we are told, by members of the kennedy family inside, and this was something we saw at eunice shriver's wake just two weeks ago in cape cod. the shriver children all came and greeted members of the public as they came through and learned why their mother influenced them and was
important in their lives, and they felt that really helped them in their mourning and i think they're hoping that that will do the same for the senator's family. his son, patrick, accompanied the body from cape cod here and then his children, teddy, jr., and kara, and then the senator's four grandchildren along with victoria, his wife, and his surviving sister, jean kennedy smith, all led the family. you saw ethel kennedy holding joe kennedy's hand. she led the robert f. kennedy contingent of the family in, and then they were followed by caroline kennedy and maria shriver. so it is going to be a long night here. it has already been a long day, but it is something that the people who have stayed here and come here, they feel very committed. it is something they have to do, and that is say thank you to this man who served massachusetts for almost a half century. >> okay, anne thompson, thank you so much for that report from
the kennedy library at columbia point. i can't think of a more nautical place to honor the former president. you really out at sea there. i know the feeling, especially on gray days out there. thank you so much. >> you're welcome. >> thank you so much, anne thompson. when we return, we'll have much more on ted kennedy and his brothers. next michael beschloss will join us, and at 7:00 we have the big much talked about documentary on the kennedy brothers, all of them. you will have to watch that tonight at 7:00. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. (announcer) before they give you the lowest price, some pharmacies make you work for it with memberships and fees. but not walmart. they have hundreds of generic prescriptions for just $4 for up to a 30-day supply or $10 for 90 days.
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we're back. we're joined by nbc news presidential historian michael beschloss who is with us from the kennedy library up in boston. michael, thank you for joining us from that incredible place up there out there on columbia point. let's put it in perspective. >> i know you spent a lot of time here. >> let's go to the younger viewers who don't know what you and i have been through. give us all a sense, refresher course, if you will, of the role of the kennedy family starting with the old man, joseph kennedy, who you wrote about with kennedy and roosevelt, hi s appeasement policies, his defeatist policies, his policies that were really seen as wrong by most americans going into the 1940s and looking backward and the role the kennedy brothers played in perhaps atoning for that. that would be my premise. your thoughts. >> i think there's a lot to that. in the late 1930s joe kennedy was franklin roosevelt's ambassador to london. he believed we should stay out
of the war even if the cost was hitler would take over europe and maybe even great britain, and needless to say 1941 most americans turned wildly against that point of view, and as a result the kennedy brothers, we talked about this before, you and i, after world war ii on foreign policy, one of the things they had to do to eventually get credibility in politics was to make it clear that they were internationalists and they disowned the views of their father. domestically, joe kennedy was a very big conservative. when john kennedy came into congress, as you have written about, chris, 1946, he was a pretty conservative democrat, too. so if you go from john kennedy to ted kennedy who over the last 47 years has been almost the embodiment of liberalism in america, very big journey. >> we've been arguing with the younger producers and i understand the difference in time dimension. the catholic thing, if you will,
the irish catholic thing, that was big when jack kennedy went up against henry cabot lodge in '52. it was sort of the new crowd taking over from the old crowd. is that still part of the hold that the kennedy family has or is that out of date in terms of their massachusetts power? >> well, i think their catholici catholicism, they embrace their irish identity they really embrace, and as we have talked about, that wasn't true with jack kennedy. he felt to some extent to make it on the national scene, he should not look like honey fitz, his grandfather. he wasn't very much, you know, out in front in terms of his interest in ireland until that trip he took to ireland as president in 1963. look at the difference between that and ted kennedy, who would seen sweet rosie o'grady in public and in a way at the end of his life almost looked like the image of honey fitz. >> what is the reason why that
the kennedy family has been able to win every election starting up there in 1946? they haven't lost a massachusetts election since '46. explain the hold. >> it's their network that they have built assiduously since 1946. joe kennedy, if he were being direct about, it he would have said in 1946 when jack got elected, it was largely his money, but after that, you know, each of these senators kennedy here, they have made a huge effort to advance on the national scene, but at the same time always kept their connection to massachusetts. they didn't want to be one of those politicians like, you know, bill fullbright in arkansas or earnest mcfarland in arizona who was once democratic leader in the senate. the people said we're proud of them, but they've gone washington, they've gone international. they don't remember us. ted kennedy's office had some of the best case work in the senate. >> how do you explain a guy of teddy's potential in terms of being able to walk anywhere in the world, dine with royalty, an
international celebrity from the time he was in his teens practically. we had chris dodd on a few moments ago. this fellow who just passed away really like the constituent service. he liked it when the mayor called him and said we have a problem with the bridge, we need some money. teddy seemed to like to do those jobs. >> he did, and how different it was from jack who would have been bored by it or bobby who thought for a time of running for governor of massachusetts and said, i don't want to sit in the state house deciding on sewer contracts. he was a regular guy. he was an extrovert. he loved to connect with people, and maybe, chris, it had to do with the fact that, you know, as a small child, he knew franklin roosevelt and winston churchill. you can't go very far up from there. so he wasn't really impressed by anyone, and i think to some extent, you know, he really kept it real. >> explain the commitment to health.
now, here is my theory. i'll run it by you. i think the kennedy family had seen what was done to the older sister rosemary, incredibly tragically treated by the father, given a lobotomy because she was difficult to keep under control. mildly retarded to use the term of that era, and yet given a harsh, brutal kind of verdict in terms of the medical treatment she got. his own problem with his back. his brother's problems with addison's disease and malaria and the bad back that seemed to be part of the family. kara's disease with cancer. teddy losing a leg. maybe that's the answer, his focus on health. what is it? why so much? >> eunice had something akin to addison's disease. his father, joe, was in a wheelchair paralyzed for the last eight years of his life. health was a very big part of their life, but the kennedys, unlike a lot of rich entitled people, could make the connection, maybe there's something wrong if we can afford the best health care in the world and other people can't. jack kennedy gave a speech i
think it was in 1962 on health care which he said i was just down in palm beach to visit my father. he can pay his bills, but many of us can't. >> what about atonement? are you willing to go in that far? i think i'd like to after chappaquiddick and being responsible for the death of that young woman in that car accident, which was his fault basically without too much argument about it, it was his fault, and then spending all these years since really committing himself not to being a playboy but to being this dutiful servant of the little guy and the little person. i always like to think it had something to do with atonement. are you willing to render a judgment in that direction? >> i sure would speculate that, and one of the things i would be fascinated about is when his book comes out in two weeks from now, you know, one of the first things i am going to look for is whether he actually says that himself. >> you know, michael, it's great to have you. laet me ask you about the role of the kennedys in history. take the long view.
the kennedy family, its contribution, your view, bottom line. >> bottom line contributions gave us a president who did all sorts of things for this country, too much to mention, a senator who ran for president who would have had he been elected, and another senator, ted kennedy, who served for 47 years and was more effective than probably any senator certainly in the last century, but beyond that, you know, this is probably the dominant american political dynasty in history, and it's one thing that's different from all the other political dynasties, and that is that this all really came from the brain of one man, joe kennedy, who set out to create a dynasty. john adams for instance didn't do that. >> what an irony that he created a dynasty that ended up being liberal. >> ends up being liberal, but, you know, he said to william o.
d douglas, you're a huge rib lal and jack is a lot more liberal than i am, but you two guys are the two i love most in public life in the 1950s, so could figure. >> thank you so much for being up there and being with nbc at this important time in our history. it's great to have a great historian aboard. up next, a preview of our documentary "the kennedy brothers." it puts together robert, jack, and teddy and the way they worked together and the way they honored each other in a way almost making each other bigger than they were separately. what a story of brotherhood, of sibling possibilities. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. time to change my tires. when it comes to shaving i know when to change my blade. (announcer) gillette fusion's indicator strip fades to white when it may be time to change. fresh blade. better shave.
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chronicle of the kennedy brothers. it features president kennedy as he begins to dictate his memoirs just before he died in the presidency. in this clip, ted kennedy eulogizes his brother bobby at st. patrick's cathedral just about a block from here right now. >> present at the hospital, the youngest kennedy brother, ted. >> i saw him briefly. his face just contorted with grief. i have never seen a man so torn as he was that night for all kinds of reasons. >> my brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war
and tried to stop it. >> it was that eulogy that turned bobby kennedy into the saintly liberal figure that we associate with bobby kennedy. so all along it was ted who was investing the kennedy name with sort of concrete values, you know, civil rights, anti-war, health care, education. and that is a key to their endurance that people consider the kennedys to be a fixed brand name. >> of the four kennedy brothers, ted, the youngest, was the most connected to the others. in 1946 the family gathered in hyannis port to celebrate jack's 29th birthday. when teddy rose to speak, the 14-year-old raised his glass and said, i'd like to drink a toast to the brother who isn't here. he stunned the room into silence. >> i think the three of them were not only a kind of band of brothers all their own in
mythology, but in reality. >> you know, tonight as you gather around as a family, you might want to gather around and watch this program together. it's a great way to teach your own kids about what they may have missed and what you'd like to remember. the kennedy brothers coming up at 7:00 eastern. coming up now, much more in the life of senator ted kennedy himself and the question of his successor up in massachusetts. that's up in the air right now. who will take teddy's seat in the u.s. senate? will massachusetts democrats change the law to let the governor name a successor right away? we'll look into that. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc.
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37 points. the s&p 500 is up almost 3 points and the nasdaq gained a little bit more than 3 points. sharing really took off today soaring more than 8%. the company said its long delayed 787 dreamliner would make its first flight by the end of the year. shares in dell are moving lower in after hours trading. the computermaker reported lower quarterly earnings just moments after the closing bell. aig shares exploded soaring 27% after the ceo said he would not support a fire sale of company assets. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball."
welcome back. our great friend mike barnicle is now with us. he's an msnbc contributor and also a great member of congress bill della hant is on now. he's at the kennedy library. you two gentlemen know what you're talking about. i want to start with bill delahunt, the congressman, if you could. i'm you're a member of the great general court of massachusetts, sir, but what will that assembly so wonderfully well applauded by mike barnicle this morning be able to do when the job seems so obvious. fill the seat of ted kennedy quickly, can they do it? >> well, they can do it, chris. will they do it i think there's some uncertainty. clearly, there's going to be a public hearing. i think they'll wait to see how the public reacts, but the question is will they make a decision to let massachusetts be represented in the united states senate for five months or will
that seat just go empty and have massachusetts unrepresented for five months in the united states senate. i think it's that simple. >> do they know in massachusetts that they are the mascot of the far right? that there's nothing the right likes more to do than make fun of massachusetts, the liberal -- you and i know how complicated massachusetts is in terms of liberal, conservative, and all that, but do they know if they can't do this, no one is going to believe they can fix the american health care system? >> well, you know, i'm of the opinion the governor made a statement last night. in my conversations with legislative leaders, i would say at first they were very tentative, but i see it going in that direction where it would simply be unacceptable to have at this moment in time the kennedy seat to go unfilled for five months. we're going to have an election.
that's the law, and whoever takes the -- if there is an interim appointment, you know, that individual will be there for five months. that's it, and then whoever prevails in the election will fill the unexpired term of the senator. >> mike barnicle, why is it that massachusetts, which has the most skilled congressional delegation in the country and has had it for years, not just tip o'neill and jack kennedy and ted kennedy, but really smart people, really, really good legislators, the boston austin connection ran congress for years and has had the great and general court, that group of people in the massachusetts legislature, why the differential? you were chuckling. you were the toughest you could be on them this morning. why the differential? >> well, i think his time has passed. i think the media business has changed. i think it's diminished. i think the business of politics certainly has changed. i think it's diminished.
i think what you have in the massachusetts legislature is probably not that different from a lot of other state legislatures in that you have a group of people, perhaps as many as 75% of them, not all of them, but 75% of them, chris, they are currently holding the best jobs they'll ever have. bill delahunt just told you that they are waiting to hear from the public. that's what they're doing. they're sitting there -- >> let me yell it loud and clear. the people want a senator to fill that seat. i mean, it doesn't take dog years to pick that one up. >> chris, you and i and bill delahunt, we're used to having politics participated in by professionals, people who know what the business is all about. these people, the state reps, are sitting there. they're afraid of the telephone, it might ring, it might be a constituent. don't answer it! >> look, it's a terrible day to be laughing, but congressman, it seems to me they were playing politics a while back, five
years ago. they didn't want mitt romney to pick the next senator because he might pick someone who could win a general election. i think that's a ridiculous worry. the state will elect democratic senators. why couldn't they say we were caught playing politics, now we're going to do it right? >> you know, i expect that after a public hearing, because i think what they're going to hear is the public saying, listen, we don't want to be naked in the u.s. senate. we just can't have john kerry. w we need that other vote. and it's not just about health care, chris. there are significant issues that will, you know, be decided over the course of the next five months, and, you know, we're competing, and mike knows that, we're competing with other states in terms of, you know, federal dollars, and it's very real, and i'm optimistic. >> mike barnicle -- >> i don't underestimate.
>> let's move on. let's not beat this dog any more than you have been beating it, michael. let's assume they're all a bunch of nincompoops. i don't want to do that. i want to spend my summers up there. let me ask you this question. looking down the road, is there a likely successor to ted kennedy out there in the field? they say in massachusetts, as you know and write about, it the shape of the field, the term is the winner. if you look at the shape of the field now will the attorney general be the next senator from massachusetts? >> you know, i think she's the odds on favorite, chris, because i think, and i don't know what bill delahunt thinks and he knows more about it than i do, but i think you will end up with six guys and the winner, the woman. >> and she's the shape of the field determining the winner. >> exactly. >> what about the theory if five pro-choice people runs and somebody run who is was not pro-choice, would that person be likely to win or would people spot that and stop that? >> i don't think so. i think it's going to be very difficult -- i think there are going to be pro-choice. most of the candidates who are known and have money, it's a
short campaign, will be pro-choice. you will have i think probably four members of congress, maybe three, and martha cokely, she's got money, she's got organization, she's the only candidate thus far mentioned who's gone statewide successfully. i would think she'd be the front-runner. >> mr. delahunt, do you want to talk about this or do you want to pass? >> yeah. no, i don't think the field is going to be that large. i think in the end there might be three candidates, and i wouldn't break it out in terms of organization. i think what you're going to -- mike alluded to the fact that the attorney general has raised money. well, here in massachusetts if you have money that you raised for your state office candidacy, you can't use that in a federal contest. so i think it's still very much in flux. it's all speculation. i think there will be a lot more clarity in about a week. >> are you in or out?
>> oh, i'm out. i have no -- i don't want to make a six-year commitment to anything at this point. >> well, you're a great congressman, sir, and it's great to have you on. i wouldn't paint you with the brush that was used by mike barnicle to describe those unfortunate members of the state leg legislature, the great and general court. >> i will see barnmike on the c and we will have a discussion. >> i wouldn't want to be him trying to get help from the local legislature on a matter. thank you mike and bill. you are my summer congressman, thank you for coming on "hardball." we shouldn't be kidding about poll tibs and we shouldn't be kidding about a successor, but it is massachusetts, and ted kennedy fully, completely understands. up next, what did ted kennedy mean to the younger generation of americans. let's bring in some young reporters, younger than me at least, which is not young. "hardball" coming back. we're on the night of ted
kennedy's -- well, he's beginning to lie in state basically up at the kennedy library. a beautiful spot. his brother's memorial, the kennedy library at columbia point. he's there tonight. tomorrow night the big wake with great speeches and then, of course, the burial at arlington. i love to look up at the eternal flame as i drive by to see them. that's where they belong. this is "hardball" only on msnbc. ( conversation )
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we're back right now with "the politics fix" with some young folks. ryan lizza of the new yorker and melinda henin berger of politicsdaily.com. melinda, you young person, you. i have been through the kennedy period. i grew up with t let me ask you this -- i always get in trouble for saying i have been inspired by barack obama, which i have been in the past. what about ted kennedy and you, my dear? >> well, something that just -- well, ted kennedy has been a huge inspiration to me and just listening to the coverage over the last -- well, ted kennedy has been a huge inspiration to me and just listening to the coverage over the last several days, one of the things that struck me the most was listening again to his fabulous 1980 convention speech and 1980 is the year i graduated
from college, so i'm not that young. and the night of that speech, a bunch of us who had just graduated from notre dame and were all going out to do a year of service work were meeting in a holy cross retreat house in colorado springs before we all went our separate ways to work in inner cities all across the country. so listening to that speech that night was a hugely important, seriously moment i think in all our lives, just thinking about the importance of giving back, of, you know, idealism, of that not being something to be ashamed of, but that something our duty as catholics, frankly. it was a moment that i will never forget and was really moved to see again this week. >> so for all those whose cares are our concern, that got to you. and what causes were those? >> caring for people who needed
our help, thinking about other people, hanging in there when things were rough, not having it depend on whether you lost or won in the short-term. >> linda, thank you for that. >> thanks. >> ryan, your thoughts about that, the ted kennedy speech, i was there at the convention hall in new york. that was one heck of a speech, in fact we have all been quoting the end, he said for me this campai campaign came to an end a few hours ago. the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die. but there were some other wonderful part. he said the elephant who tries to do hand stands ends up on his back. you have to chuckle at it because when republicans try to be tricky, they end up looking stupid, clever, clever brilliant
rhetoric. what have you been able to say in the last several days? >> the moment in his life that's been sort of-that i have seen in the last few days that really resonated with me and i wasn't quite as family with before. is after rfk's resignation, he goes into seclusion for several months. maybe you should quit politics, literally being a kennedy could be a threat to your life, you know his three brothers are now dead, and after several months of thinking things through, he comes out and gives this speech, and he says i'm going to stick with this profession, i'm going to stick with public service, it's a sort of heroic moment in his life. a lot had been handed to him on a silver platter at that point, but he said despite the death of miss two brothers, i'm going to
continue on and i'm going to stick with the family business, even though it literally could be life threatening, and i found that a literally poignant speech. >> i could have gone to notre da dame, i went to holy cross. as we go to break, new video out right now about just an hour ago as the casket of senator kennedy is carried inside, there it is, coming into the presidential library at columbia point where, what a beautiful memorial that is to his older brother, president kennedy. it's so nautical, it's so much about the navy where he served and overlooks the sea, if you go in there, there's a view of the sea you can't believe, especially on gray days, you feel like you're at sea. and there's teddy coming home really to his brother's museum, where he's going to lie in state now. we're going to come back and talk for just a little bit more tonight as this day continues. .
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